November 24th, 2011

kobato | blue skies and bright eyes

Petrol stations

I don't know the first thing about cars since I can't drive, so the corollary of that is that I know nothing about petrol/gas stations. I didn't know where to begin with these questions, but I did manage to find out those containers that store fuel are called jerrycans. I googled terms like 'makeshift jerrycans' and 'homemade jerrycans' but just found forum threads about jerrycan holders. I did manage to find a forum claiming hydrocarbons in fuel melt Coke bottles; in Australia (where I live), there's actually a fuel container standard, and you can't store it in glass.
  • What are fuel dispensers powered by? I did some Googling on this and the Wikipedia page doesn't specify. I also searched things like 'gas pump power supply' with quotes and no quotes and using various synonyms, asked my mom, etc. Can't go to a petrol station since I've fractured my ankle and it's late, so I figured I'd ask here.
  • What can you use as makeshift jerrycans (those containers that store litres of petrol), if bottles aren't safe?
  • Would the petrol be contaminated by, say, juice or soda residue? (My characters are in an emergency, so they might have to use something unsafe)
mus | like a bird in a cage

Labour-police clashes in 1900s New York?

Setting: New York City, early 1900s
Googled: New York labour history, New York strikes, New York strike history, New York unions, union police history

My story is set in NYC around the turn of the century. Two of my characters are union organizers/supporters, and are at a union meeting when the police come in and haul everyone off to jail. What I'm trying to find out is, what strikes/police clashes were happening at that time? And what strikes would an Irish-American and Jewish-American man be plausibly involved with? (Seeing as how a lot of the labour unions were divided by ethnicity.) They also support the suffragettes- one's married to one, she's the one who bails them out- but I'm not sure if it would make sense for them to be at a women's meeting. I know the uprising of the twenty thousand and the 1910 Cloakmakers' strike were both happening around this time, but I want to make sure it's plausible for them to be there. Thanks in advance!

Becoming a police officer in Japan

Setting: A medium-sized fictional Japanese city in late summer/early fall 1999.

Questions: What would a person have to know and study to become a police officer in Japan? How do you get into police academy, and do you go to normal college first? How do you apply? What do they test you on to get in? I basically need a guide to becoming a city cop in Japan.

I found the National Police Academy and the Tokyo Metropolitan Police's webpages, but they don't tell you what you have to do to get in. (at least not on the English versions) I looked up Japanese Law Enforcement and National Police Agency (Japan) but they didn't help much. Google just brought me those webpages and a bunch of interesting but unhelpful news articles.

The situation is that you have a high school student and his older brother, who is already a cop. The student wants to become a cop too, but he's been slacking off in school so he'll need to study a lot to catch up and the brother wants to help. I want to know what the brother is going to tell the student about becoming a cop and what he's going to tutor the student on.

Knowledge of AIDS in West Germany in 1985


Hope someone from Germany can help me with my questions:

- what did regular folks know about AIDS in West Germany, say Munich, in 1985?

- did the W.German press/TV carry anything about Rock Hudson's admission that he was suffering from AIDS while he was in a hospital in Paris in July 1985? did people talk about it? if the news was in the press/aired, would it be probably that an American tourist visiting a bar in the red light district in Munich hears folks talking about this there?

I've googled all sorts of combinations of the above and found some information on AIDS in Europe and some stats for that period. But what I really need is what common folks knew about AIDS and thought about it at the time. I don't speak German, so I can't read up German language sources. Hope you can help.

Many thanks in advance!!